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215 215 9814

The Most Common Mistakes When Visiting the Greek Islands

May 24, 2024 7 min read.

All of us dream about visiting Greece as a holiday destination, and we have many reasons why. This beautiful country offers literally everything: from the history of Athens to the breathtaking landscapes of the popular Greek islands

The Greek islands are one of the most photographed places on Earth, especially the remarkable Santorini. Everyone’s attraction goes mostly to Santorini and Mykonos, but Greece offers plenty of other magnificent islands to visit, such as Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Naxos, Milos, and many more. 

When heading to these islands, we might make some mistakes, which is normal when we are traveling to a completely new destination, or even if we have been there before. No need to worry! At Greca, we created a list of the most common mistakes travelers make, so you can be aware before having the trip of your life in the Greek islands!

1. Making a hasty decision and ignoring your gut instincts.

We always say this: Greek islands are different from each other in the vibes they have. It is well known that Santorini is one of the most romantic places on Earth, and its neighbor, Mykonos, is famous for the incredible nightlife it offers, so this is just a small idea of the vibes you need to take into consideration when choosing the right island to visit.

Looking for a way to unwind while feeling like you're in paradise? Then Milos might be a great option for you. This island is close to Athens, with a short 45-minute flight from there. Milos will offer you a coastline of beautiful beaches with few visitors in comparison with other major islands. If you want something in between, not that calm but not crowded, take a look at the island of Paros, well known for its interesting ATV rides and nightlife, but also for its quiet and remote areas to chill.

As we mentioned before, Mykonos is a fantastic island to enjoy great bars, music, and the best Greek nightlife. However, it is not the only island that can offer you nice parties. Ios is an island located between Naxos and Santorini, and it is filled with plenty of nightlife. We guarantee you will love it!

You will discover incredible sandy beaches on Corfu, as well as interesting towns and beautiful landscapes. Even the less-known Greek islands like Naxos, Aegina, or Syros are great destinations to visit if you want to disconnect from the daily routine. 

2. Clumsy inter-island transportation

It is normal that many visitors decide to explore many islands at the same time, taking advantage of the maximum of their visit to the Greek islands. Organizing yourself will help you choose the perfect options to move from one island to another. 

Some of the islands might seem close to each other, and some of them are, but pay attention to details so you can save time and money. If you decide to travel from Athens to Mykonos, it will take you about five hours on a ferry, but only 40 minutes by plane. However, if you plan to go to a different island afterward, it might be smarter to use a ferry and not buy a round-trip ticket to Athens. For example, it is smart to stick to a group of islands. Visit the Cyclades, Ionian, or Aegean islands, taking into consideration that they are usually close to each other, and you might find everything you need in any of the groups. 

3. Driving in the Greek islands

For many visitors, driving through the alleys of the Greek islands is a total adventure. Make sure to take a look at the roads, distances, and conditions before deciding to rent a car. However, if you like adventure, it may be the perfect opportunity to discover the islands by renting an ATV and taking the experience to another level. Just remember, make sure to have the right insurance and respect the traffic rules of the country.

4. Use the toilet to dispose of waste.

To prevent affecting the plumbing system on the islands, we recommend not flushing toilet paper or any human waste down the toilet_—no exceptions are allowed._ Greek sewage pipes are narrow, approximately two inches in diameter, and in comparison, they are half the size of American or British plumbing. You will find small bins next to every toilet, so do not hesitate to use them to place all the garbage. 

5. Bringing the incorrect footwear

Be comfortable when exploring the Greek islands, as most of the time you will be walking and wandering around the beautiful towns. Also, you will find some dirt or lightly paved streets, so we recommend wearing sneakers and keeping the fancy shoes for very specific places. 

6. Overpacking

Yes, we understand you want to take all your clothes with you, but keep it simple. When packing your baggage, take into consideration that, most likely, you will be moving from one island to another, using different types of transportation such as ferries or airplanes. Also, it is helpful to have a carry-on bag for small round trips. 

Pack those stylish outfits, your swimwear, and some comfy shoes, and get ready to explore the wonders of Greece!

7. Ignoring the less-known islands

As mentioned before, all the attention usually goes to main islands such as Santorini or Crete, but make sure to include some smaller and less known islands when traveling to the Greek islands. You will see how interesting these off-the-beaten-path spots are, and experience the charm they have to offer you. 

Walking and discovering small islands just like Kasos, Symi, or Syros is well worth it. You will be impressed by their culture, architecture, and gastronomy, and the fact that beyond those streets and beaches, ancient monasteries, ruins, and monuments are ready to be discovered. 

8. Missing the local coffee

Almost all of us love coffee, and the flavor of Greek coffee is simply different. Locals know how to prepare it very well, especially iced coffee, known as frappe, a sweet drink with blended ice. This drink is the perfect match if you are visiting the islands in summer when the sun hits harder and the temperature gets higher. 

You should try the delicious pastries that Greeks prepare. To go with the coffee, some baklava, revani, or koulourakia cookies are ideal. Enjoy them!

9. Skipping local cuisine

Greece is famous for its unique gastronomy, and you will find many places to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner once you get there. Your hotel might serve delicious food, but keep some space for the authentic dishes that you will only try while discovering the different islands you will visit. 

The experience of sitting outdoors while having lunch with a stunning view of the sea, or a romantic dinner just before sunset, is just unrepeatable. Enjoy the best fresh seafood, along with a cup of high-quality wine, and taste the delicious Greek olive oil. Keep the diet for later, you will not regret it!

10. Missing Athens enchant

This blog is dedicated to the Greek islands. However, we cannot ignore the fact that most likely you will be stopping in Athens during your trip, either as a point in between the islands or when arriving or leaving Greece. 

Athens is simply beautiful, and we encourage you to dedicate some time to discover the wonders of the capital city. Walking through one of the oldest cities in the world is just amazing, and you could finish your holidays in a city full of culture, history, tasty food, and a great art scene. Athens should be included in your bucket list!

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